Who Taught That Child To Be Free? (Freedom Revisited)…

***

Freedom.

Freedom is inherent;

Born in us

The same as the need for drink,

The need for food,

The need for love.

Whom among us came into this world

Not kicking and screaming,

Immediately consolable,

And not making our presence known,

Not freely wailing

And not unbothered by that fact?

Not a one of us.

But who taught that child to be free?

***

Freedom.

There is no need to teach

A freedom which is innate, instinctual, inborn.

But,

As time  goes on,

And the years pass by,

We work oh so hard,

And ever so intentionally,

To teach that child how

Not to be free,

To teach that child to unlearn

That instinctive freedom,

That no one had to teach that child

In the very first place.

And,

Slowly but surely,

Little by little,

Day by day,

That child learns how not to be free.

But who taught that child to be free?

***

Freedom.

The freedom of an infant’s

Tiny little hand,

Boldly exploring the face of a stranger,

Without knowing

The audacity of such an action.

The same infant will eventually learn

To keep her hands to herself,

To try to avoid eye contact,

To keep to herself completely.

And further,

Most importantly,

To not speak to strangers,

Much less attract their attention;

All for her own “protection,”

Of course.

That is one day.

But,

Until then,

The infant knows no stranger.

But who taught that child to be free?

***

Freedom.

The freedom of a liberated,

Nude toddler,

Playfully running through the dancing spray

of a sprinkler wetting the grass

In the front yard,

Without the slightest care

Or second thought,

Or hesitation,

Or the least bit of shame.

The same toddler will eventually learn

To cover himself in embarrassment,

That it is not ok to be exposed,

That vulnerability is not advisable,

That nudity is wrong,

And dirty,

And perverted,

And unwholesome.

That he should not even

Find beauty in the reflection of

His own naked body;

All for his own “protection,”

Of course.

That is one day.

But,

Until then,

The toddler knows no shame.

But who taught that child to be free?

***

Freedom.

The freedom of the sharp tongue

Of a young child,

Not knowing how to hold back,

Not willing to either,

And most definitely not understanding

Why one should,

When the truth is the truth.

The same young child will eventually learn

To hold her tongue,

To sandwich criticism

with flowery compliments,

Lies even,

When “necessary,”

To watch what she says,

Because not everyone

Wants to hear the truth.

And alas,

It is not her place to tell them anyway:

All for her own “protection,”

Of course,

And the protection

Of others.

That is one day.

But,

Until then,

The young child knows only

How to speak frankly,

How to speak the truth.

But who taught that child to be free?

***

Freedom.

Freedom once known so well.

Freedom that was

Slowly but surely,

Little by little,

Day by day,

Unlearned,

Surrendered,

Submitted,

Suppressed,

And chastised out of us,

By all the restrictions,

And rules,

And regulations,

And dos,

And don’ts,

Of society;

For the acceptance of others.

Can we look back far enough

Into ourselves,

To discover the deep-rooted

Freedom

That no one had to teach us?

At this point,

After all that has happened,

After all that we have been through,

Is it even possible for us to truly

Be free?

Can we find that child with untaught freedom

Within us?

That will be the day;

One day we must strive for.

But,

Until then,

All we know are the constructs we have built,

for our “protection,”

Of course.

Protection,

Not only keeping harm out,

But also keeping us in.

Protection,

All too often,

Cruelly and ironically

Keeping us from our freedom.

However,

Somewhere,

Inside all of us,

That free little child is still there,

Waiting,

Wishing,

Hoping

To be free.

But who taught that child to not be free?

***

***

***

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One Response to Who Taught That Child To Be Free? (Freedom Revisited)…

  1. stroudonline says:

    Thought provoking
    precious!

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